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The Hollywood Reporter: Why the ‘Ghostbusters’ Reboot May Haunt Sony

The Hollywood Reporter‘s Pamela McClintock writes that despite their calm and optimistic reaction to the Ghostbusters remake’s box office results, Sony will probably end up taking a big financial hit on the movie.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

During box-office press calls on Sunday morning, Sony executives were in full spin mode as they declared Paul Feig’s all-female Ghostbusters reboot a triumph, pointing out that the $46 million opening was the biggest launch for a live-action comedy since Pitch Perfect 2 took in $69.2 million in May 2015.

“We are ecstatic with this opening. We have successfully restarted an important brand,” Josh Greenstein, president of worldwide marketing and distribution, told The Hollywood Reporter.

But box-office analysts and rival studios are skeptical that Sony has indeed relaunched the storied franchise, considering $46 million is a problematic start for a movie with a net production budget of $144 million (rebates and tax incentives brought it down from $154 million). Ideally, they say, it should have opened to $60 million or more.

When factoring in marketing costs — the price tag for promoting a summer tentpole globally can be upward of $150 million — Ghostbusters may have to earn $375 million to $400 million worldwide to break even for Sony and partner Village Roadshow Pictures. That means it needs to do sizable business overseas, since it could top out in the $130 million range domestically. (Sony insiders counter that the break-even number is $300 million.)

Overseas, the jury is still out. Ghostbusters debuted in only a few major markets this weekend, earning $19.1 million, with first-place finishes in two major English-speaking markets, the U.K. ($6.1 million) and Australia ($3.7 million). Some analysts caution that comedy doesn’t travel as well as other genres. And China is not allowing Ghostbusters into the country.

Read the full story at the Hollywood Reporter.

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